Following the main event of Saturday’s Survivor Series premium live event, CM Punk returned to WWE. Punk left AEW after All In after being released due to a backstage brawl with Jack Perry.
This occurred following numerous reports that WWE would not be bringing him back and was not interested in doing so. Punk had also been mentioned on television.
The majority of those reports were correct, as Triple H stated at the post-event press conference that the deal was completed quickly. When top talent inquired earlier in the week, they were flatly told that Punk would not be appearing at Survivor Series.
Dave Meltzer stated on Wrestling Observer Radio that WWE President Nick Khan made the decision to bring Punk back with the support of Triple H, but Vince McMahon had no say in the matter.
“He signed a multi-year deal. The deal came together about ten days ago. It was a secret from almost everyone. Paul Levesque [Triple H] said the TKO people found out by watching the TV, which I thought was ridiculous until I asked around and heard the exact same thing.”
Meltzer was told that the TKO employees are there to do business and make money, not to be creative. This would have been comparable to how the UFC would have operated.
Meltzer continued, “It was a Nick Khan call in the end. Vince had nothing to do with it. Paul Levesque obviously had a lot to do with it, and those were the two guys who were the point guys.” Meltzer was told that if there was a demand for Punk to return, WWE would not fight it.